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Swiss voters are to decide on whether convicted paedophiles should be banned for life from working with minors and dependent persons.

The Marche Blanche (White March) association said on Wednesday that it had collected more than 112,000 signatures in support of the move, more than enough to call a popular vote on the issue.

If passed, the ban would be written into the constitution.

In February the government started consultations on a plan aimed at preventing paedophiles from coming into contact with potential victims, and to ban those convicted of serious crimes, such as rape, from working in regular contact with minors for ten years.

In cases where the risk of a repeat offence is considered too high, this could be extended to a lifetime ban.

But White March believes these measures do not go far enough.

“These people have the right to a second chance, but not where there are children around,” said Oskar Freysinger of the right-wing People’s Party, speaking in favour of the initiative.

“The rights of the victim take precedence over those of the criminal.”

White March, a non-political association set up by a group of parents ten years ago, was also behind a popular vote, passed in 2008, to lift the statute of limitations on acts of child pornography.

After handing in the signatures for the new initiative, its president it had achieved its objectives and would now rely on politicians to continue to fight sex crimes against children.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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